The field of human rights monitoring has become preoccupied with statistical methods for measuring performance, such as benchmarks and indicators. This is reflected within human rights scholarship, which has become increasingly ‘empirical’ in its approach. However, the relevant actors developing statistical approaches typically treat causality somewhat blithely, and this causes critical problems for such projects. This article suggests that resources—whether temporal or fiscal—may be better allocated towards improving methods for identifying violations rather than developing complicated, but ultimately ineffective, statistical methods for monitoring human rights performance.
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